A Ground Source Heat Pump should cost no more than a Fridge

The cost of ground source heat pumps is used by the legacy gas/Hydrogen lobby as an argument for the vast energy cost of creating hydrogen and not going all electric. Its a red herring.

Heat pumps are just fridges in reverse. They need cost no more than a fridge. So why no mass manufacture them in china and housebuilders buy them in bulk. Just look at the prices on Alibaba

There are too other costs. Pipework for underfloor heating (radiators are inefficient at the lower heat loads). Just build them into modular wooden floor plates, and the cost of digging horizontal heat collection pipes. Note you would need to dig new gas pipes for a fair comparison.

Lets not fall for the entire nation subsidizing the legacy gas industry, as ridiculous as the whale oil industry demanding a subsidy in the switchover to coal gas .

The real issue is existing housing with gas boilers. The cost benefit here is between extra insulation and the national cost of the generation of electricity to convert hydrogen. Has anyone in the legacy gas industry ever done a calculation? It may be cheaper simply to replace gas with electric boilers and offset the extra energy cost with extra capacity, as this, with extra insulation, is still more energy efficient than creating hydrogen.

Hence there is no real reason to not ban new gas boilers from 2023. This is enough time for housebuilders to build supply chains and change their standard timber framed designs.

2 thoughts on “A Ground Source Heat Pump should cost no more than a Fridge

  1. The heat pump itself is potentially the same cost as a boiler, although compared to current boilers would need replacing almost twice as much as they’re nowhere near as reliable or cheap to service

    For the industry to switch to Ground source heat pumps in the next 2 ish years, we would need tens of thousands of installers trained and ready along with a growing amount of engineers to service them after the first 2 years. Not to mention the cost of the electrical infrastructure.

    I think it would be around £8k extra per plot to install at the new build stage.

    We certainly need to go on this route but we need to be careful about outlawing gas boilers in 2 years.

  2. Andrew,
    The right geological conditions for deep bore heat pumps, which tap thermal energy in rocks, only occur in a few parts of the UK and are expensive to set up. They are potentially suitable for a limited number of larger developments in the right places.

    Ground source heat pump systems, where pipes are buried a metre or so below ground level require more open land than average housing densities can provide. This is a niche solution only.

    That leaves air source heat pumps as the most workable system for UK house builders. They produce low temperature heat, which is why underfloor heating can be a good match, since it delivers heat at floor level, where it is most effective. However, until the electricity grid is decarbonised, any electric heating system will cause indirect carbon emissions – a high proportion of electricity generation is still supplied by gas-fired power stations. Air source heat pumps are currently eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive because the overall cost of installation is significantly higher than ‘normal’ heating systems and take up has been relatively limited.

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